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Shahbaz seeks Indian investment in energy sector

PUNJAB Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that due to the energy crisis, economic and trade activities have slowed down in the country.

However, he said, government was determined to overcome shortage of electricity and measures were being taken for this purpose on the emergent basis. He expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Indian energy experts, here on Wednesday. The delegation was led by Pawind Parweet Badal. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretary Agriculture and other officers concerned were present on the occasion. Matters regarding cooperation in the energy sector were discussed in the meeting.

Talking to the Indian delegation, the Chief Minister said that special incentives were being offered to local and foreign investors and the companies for the investment in the energy sector. He said that being a neighbouring country of Pakistan, India’s cooperation in the energy sector would help improve bilateral relations between the two countries. He said that India especially East Punjab had set up biomass, biogas and small hydel projects for the generation of electricity and the Punjab government wanted to benefit from the successful projects set up in the East Punjab.

He said that government was making every effort to overcome shortage of electricity and several agreements had been signed with local and foreign companies and investors for their cooperation in the energy sector. He said that there were vast opportunities of setting up biomass, biogas and small hydel projects for the generation of electricity in the province.

He said that the projects of power generation from biomass, biogas and small hydel projects were running successfully in the Indian Punjab and the experience and skill of the East Punjab would be fully utilised for expeditious completion of the energy projects. The Chief Minister directed the provincial authorities to finalise consultative and technical process immediately for benefiting from India’s experience. He said that full benefit should be taken from Indian expertise in setting up biogas plants. He directed that setting up of biomass projects of 15 megawatt each be considered while work should be started without any delay on setting up small hydel projects on canals. He said that every moment of the nation was precious and the officials concerned should finalise the viable projects without wasting any time.

The head of the Indian delegation Pawind Parweet Badal said that all-out cooperation would be extended to the Punjab government in establishing biogas, biomass and small hydel projects of power generation. He said that the cooperation with Pakistani Punjab in energy sector would be a matter of pleasure.

Metro bus: A delegation of an international Chinese company NORINCO called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday. Matters pertaining to the infrastructure sector, especially expanding the scope of metro bus project were discussed in the meeting. Vice President of NORINCO Zhang Shiping, Ms Cui Dungjian, Liu Zhen, Li Yidn, Chairman Lahore Transport Company Khawaja Ahmad Hasaan and Managing Director Punjab Metro Bus Authority Sibtain Fazal Haleem were also present on the occasion.

Talking to the Chinese delegation, the Chief Minister said that there were historic relations between Pakistan and China.

He said that Pakistan attached high importance to its ties with China which had supported Pakistan in every hour of need. He said that a number of mega projects had been completed in Pakistan with the cooperation of China. He said that the project of construction of economic corridor from Kashgar to Gwadar was of vital importance. He said that the scope of metro bus project was being expanded in the Punjab Province. He said that the metro bus project played a role in the provision of modern and economical transport facilities to the masses.

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